Upping the Antedating of "Surrealism"

Gareth Branwyn garethb2 at EARTHLINK.NET
Sun Oct 13 19:06:34 UTC 2002

1931? '28? Let's crank it all the way back to 1917, May 11, 1917:

 From Francis Steegmuller's excellent biography Cocteau:

"After attending some of the Paris rehearsals of Parade (a drawing by
Larionov, shows him sitting in the theater beside Diaghilev),
Apollonaire wrote his note, which appeared in the newspaper "Excelsior"
for May 11 [1917], and then, a week later, in the the ballet program
itself. That program note on Parade has become famous because in it the
word "surrealiste" is used for the first time."

Here's the actual quote from the "Excelsior" article:

"This new union -- for up until now stage sets and costumes on the one
hand and choreography on the other were only superficially linked --
has given rise in Parade to a kind of 'sur-realisme'."

The ballet Parade was a thoroughly modern multi-media Cubist
extravaganza, suitably scandalous to Parisian audiences, that featured
decor and costumes by Picasso, music by Satie, choreography by Massine,
and a libretto by Jean Cocteau.

On Saturday, October 12, 2002, at 06:08 PM, Fred Shapiro wrote:

> surrealism (OED 1931)
> 1928 _Modern Language Notes_ XLIII. 547 Realism and surrealism,
> naturalism
> and idealism, romanticism and classicism are useful words.
> Fred Shapiro
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
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> Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
> Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF
>   and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
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> e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu
> http://quotationdictionary.com
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